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S: Rust Belt Road Trip - July 2011

BC: Adventure is out there...

FC: Rust Belt | 65 | 50

1: Rust Belt Road Trip July 21-31, 2011 | 11 Days 10 States 2341.4 Miles 7 In-Car Movies 4 Major Cities 2 National Parks 1 National Historic Site And we're still talking to each other

2: PNC Park | Sarah snaps a picture on the incline | Going up! | Heinz Field | Lancaster, meeting up with the Umbergers | We made it to Pittsburgh | The View | It's a long way up

3: Putting the fun in funicular | Pittsburgh, PA | Our trip started by driving out to Pittsburgh, enjoying a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches accompanied by cheese balls, (the first of many) and checking out the view of Pittsburgh by riding the Duquesne Incline. | Day 1

4: Cuyahoga Valley State Park was our next stop. We explored old ship building techniques, and hiked along old canals. Brandywine Falls (right) was much more impressive than the Blue Hen Falls. It was so incredibly hot that day - we would have gladly jumped in either one.

6: Mike's Place - A delightful place to eat...where else can you park your x-wing fighter out front? | Good food Fun atmosphere | Men's Bathroom ('nough said.) | Scotty tackles his child's size hot dog. | Mark's Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich... served with steak knife.

7: Canton, Ohio: Scotty's new favorite town! | Pro Football Hall of Fame (We all wore our Eagles shirts) | Day 2

8: Yay Eagles! Boo Cowboys! A fun morning was spent exploring all that is professional football. Interactive boards with information on Hall of Famers, and "seeing" favorite players were part of the day. The kids would have enjoyed more time on the "Hall of Fame Football Field" but it was in the 90's and very humid - the cool air conditioning of the van beckoned while we ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

10: The Staplefords introduced us to the lovely town of St. Joseph, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. All the kids enjoyed an overcast (read not crowded!) day of splashing and playing at Silver Beach! | Lake Michigan | Day 3

11: Dinner was at Silver Beach Pizza, an old train station that was converted into a restaurant. While we waited for dinner, we went to the carousel across the street. Each animal was hand carved. As you can tell by the pictures, it was a very fast moving merry-go-round!

12: The Museum of Science and Industry is THE best science museum we have ever visited. Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, the building boasts many hands on activities for kids (young and old) to enjoy. In addition to a Tesla Coil (I want one) and a "Poop to Power" farming exhibit, the museum also owns a German U-Boat captured during World War II. We were able to tour the sub and speak with veterans who served on submarines. | Day 4

14: The boys were fascinated by the HUGE model train set that showed the path from Chicago to Seattle. (this page) | At the end of the day we went to a "Birthday Party" celebrating a famous scientist's birthday. This scientist was SO famous, I forgot her name. But we did get to make ice cream from liquid nitrogen! (next page)

16: Heading into Chicago to meet the Sommers! (Notice Buckingham Fountain below.....see the beautiful founts of water?) | Dinner was at Al's Beef - which we discovered on Man V. Food. (Take note of the warning on the cup.)

17: Hancock Tower

18: We spent almost two hours at the top of the second tallest building in Chicago - the Hancock Tower. We were able to see the sun set as the lights of the city came on. A beautiful sight - just don't make me stand too close the windows!

19: Chicago at night

20: Wrigley Field | Day 5

21: The boys (both big and small) enjoyed the baseball history found at Wrigley Field

22: Could she smile a little bigger? | The Cafe served a delicious lunch | The girls enjoyed shopping at the flagship American Girl store.

23: The best part of the meal

24: Good thing we had a big lunch....we waited two hours for a table for 14 at Lou Malnati's. | DisDads:Barry, Mark and Brian | The skyline of Chicago heads straight down to the water making it very unique.

25: Checking out "Cloud Gate" - I mean "The Bean" | Day 6

26: Remember Buckingham Fountain? Yeah, it was turned off for maintenance. At least we got a great picture of all three kids in their new Chicago shirts....

27: Indianapolis Children's Museum - even the dinosaurs can't wait for it to open!

28: play | explore | learn | enjoy

29: big | fun

30: Babe Ruth placed a notch on his bat for each home run he hit | Words to live by... | Scott models David Ortiz's bat | Sarah shows off Cal Ripken Jr.'s bat | Mickey Mantle's bat

31: Day 7 | Timmy models Mickey Mantle's bat | LHB! | I LOVE how the store next to the Louisville Slugger Factory did their sign! | David loved his day at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Not only did he get to hold a bat that had been played in a game, but he also got to take a swing in the batting cages - and hit every single ball!! | hmm...must be losing....

32: The best restaurant of the trip... | Lynn's Paradise Cafe.

33: pure awesomeness | This place was meant for me.

34: Since the town water park was closed, we had to make do with extra hydrogenated water. Hopefully the kids won't grow a third arm... (Actually the signs are there to discourage people from playing near the fountains. As you can tell, it didn't stop us!)

35: Dinner cream! | Louisville Waterfront

36: Mammoth Cave - an incredible example of God's creativity. Not many people see these caves, yet they are beautiful. | Grand Central Station

37: Day 8 | Scotty was NOT a fan of the cave. He earned a "Buddy Bison" for being tough and brave!

38: Spring where Abraham Lincoln and family went for water. It was refreshingly cool by the spring!

39: Buddy Bison | Birthplace of a Great American - | Abraham Lincoln | Lincoln's Family Bible | Replica of Lincoln's Childhood Home

40: Pie + Cake + Louisville = Yummy Awesomeness! Loved that priests in robes and men with tattoos and handlebar mustaches come here and enjoy pie - and talk with each other. That's Louisville. That's awesome.

41: We are... Marshall | I forget where this train is but it sure looks like the Hogwarts Express... | new friends | mmm.....cheese fries... | ugh.....too many cheese fries.... | Visiting with the Wileys | Huntington, West Virginia | Day 9

42: the mountains of West Virginia

43: What's this? | A geocache! | We found it!

44: We rode a chairlift up a mountain in Canaan Valley. Four out of five Harbesons enjoyed the ride. (I hated it!) The view at the top was gorgeous. I opted for a peaceful, butterfly-filled walk down the mountain while Mark rode down with the kids.

47: Blackwater Falls West Virginia

48: Step 1: Turn perpendicular in bed. Use your sister as an extra pillow if need be. | Step 2: Finish your full 180-degree turn. Cover your head, leave your feet at the head of the bed. | Step 3: Keep that turn going. Go ahead and prop those stinky feet right up on top of your sister. She probably has cooties anyway. | Step 4: Find a more comfortable. Like, say, the floor. Don't forget to take that pillow with you. | David's Guide to Falling Asleep While On Vacation

49: Step 5: Check for any signs of danger. Use your feet as a periscope. | Step 6: All clear? Great. Now brace yourself against the wall and do a headstand. | Step 7: No, really. I mean stand on your head. | Step 8: That should be enough to knock you out.

51: National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport | Day 10

53: Why do we go on these trips? Because these trips are where memories are made. The shared experiences are what the kids will remember the most. Something new is not to be feared, but embraced. If you love it, you've got a great new experience to share. And if you hate it, you've more than likely got a great story to tell. These are the times our family will look back on and cherish. Adventure is out there!

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  • By: Julie H.
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  • Title: Blank Canvas
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